The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in the centre of Dundee, Scotland.

The building was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, who was an expert for the restoration of mediaeval churches and advocate of the Gothic architectural style. He intended to design a large tower like in his previous work at St. Nikolai, Hamburg. The foundations were situated in a small wetland called Quaw Bog at the confluence of the Scourin Burn and Friar Burn, which has since been drained. This meant that the area under the building site was underpinned by large wood beams. However, when construction began in 1865, the ground proved too unstable to support the larger tower that he envisaged. The building was opened as the Albert Institute in 1867.

Two further sections, which extended the building by four art galleries and four museum galleries, were added by 1889. The central section was designed to Scott's intention by David MacKenzie, with the Eastern Galleries by William Alexander. The contents of the Watt Institute, founded in 1848, were incorporated into the collection before the opening of the civic museum and art gallery in 1873. Between 1873 and 1949, the buildings were administrated as part of public library service. From 1959, the city corporation took over the running of the administration. Ironically, following a later refurbishment the building now commemorates the Lord Provost Maurice McManus. Initially retitled McManus Galleries, after refurbishment in 2010, it is now formally known as The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum.

The collection includes three paintings by Thomas Musgrave Joy which celebrate Grace Darling's rescue of passengers on the paddlesteamer Forfarshire.



Your name


Founded: 1867
Category: Museums in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Patrick Bastow (10 months ago)
For me, this is THE best museum in Dundee. I’ve been here 3 times now and you always see something new. Go to the V&A to admire the building but make it a priority to come here too. Plus you’ll see a bit more of Dundee. The building is amazing and it’s had an upgrade. What makes this the best museum in Dundee is it content - amazing art, and a really good account of Dundee history. So do yourself a favour visit the no 1 museum in Dundee if you are in Dundee
Andrew Lindsay (10 months ago)
Wonderful museum and art gallery. Lots of local exhibits from bygone eras to relatively modern histories. Very friendly welcome and introduction - and it's free to get in. Probably spent over two hours here plus a wonderful lunch to boot.
John Tucker (12 months ago)
This is such a brilliant place with so much to see. It was our first time in Dundee and we would highly recommend it if you want to get an instant feel for this proud city. Special thanks to Amelia who introduced herself at the door (in chilly conditions) then took time to engage with us on one of her 'walk arounds' whilst inside. Her enthusiasm and warmth made our afternoon.
Lizzie (12 months ago)
A great little museum, good variety of exhibitions well curated and a nice art gallery as well. Some lovely prehistoric finds and a good documentation of Dundee's history. Didn't stop for food but the cafe smelled great. Free admission, and a great afternoon out!
Angus McNicoll (13 months ago)
Love the "re-vamped" museum which focuses on Dundee's history. So many memories for me in the photographs and high quality exhibits. Definitely well worth visiting for anyone interested in Dundee and its past. As an added bonus, it's very wheelchair friendly too!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.

The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.

The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.